According to a press release, the software upgrade is part of the Air Force’s Flexible Strike Phase 1 program. The project will result in an increase of the B-2 spirit bomber mission capabilities, as well as a reduction of maintenance costs.
“We’re simplifying the software used by the B-2 to manage its weapons,” explained Dave Mazur, vice president and B-2 program manager, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. “Today we have several standalone programs that each manage a specific type of mission. We’re replacing that software with a single program that can manage all of those mission types.”
As the press release notes, the preliminary design review (PDR) is designed to show the USAF that Northrop Grumman understands the required interactions between the aircraft and its weapons systems, and that the software upgrade will manage those interactions correctly.
During the Flexible Strike Phase 1 program, Northrop wants to replace multiple operational flight programs (OFP), software which allows the B-2 spirit bomber to communicate with equipment that holds and fires weapons, with a single OFP, thus bolstering the B-2’s effectiveness.